Vegetables are really not my forte - and cauliflower especially. Though I'm trying to get better, I promise. So when I found a recipe for some cheesy cauliflower patties, I decided to tweak it a bit to see if I could make them even more up my alley.
First, I grabbed a big head of cauliflower and chopped off the florets, and started them boiling in some water, along with a small bit of onion (because I do like onion you know). Then I grabbed some other flavors that I felt would go well in this particular dish: Bell peppers and cheese.
You can't really tell, but the cheese is one of those "Shredded Mexican" blends, along with a dash of Asiago, just to give it a little kick. The pepper, as I'm sure you can tell, is orange, because I thought I'd try my hand at being color-coordinated. For those that measure precise-like, sorry, but I didn't take any. Here's a pretty good guess. I know the cauliflower and eggs were right, and you can always customize to your liking.
- Head Cauliflower: 1
- Bell Pepper: 1
- Small Onion: 1
- Eggs: 2
- Cheese (I chose a Mexican Blend + a dash of Asiago): 1/2 cup
- Panko Bread Crumbs: 1/2 cup
- Cayenne Pepper: 1/2 tsp
Moving on - as the cauliflower is generally tougher than the pepper, it's good to let it soak in that boiling water for a while - ten minutes or so seems to do the trick, but you can go longer if you like it mushier. I liked the contrast of a crispy pepper, so I didn't add it right away. But eventually, you'll want to add the pepper in there, too, so that they can cook and get their flavors mingling. Then drain them and mash, like so.
Now comes the fun. Get the kids involved, or don't, because you may need them to wash their hands, and that can be a chore, so you may want to keep this all to yourself. The next step is to take the mashed-up cauliflower and dump in the cheese, add the eggs, the cayenne pepper (if you use it) and the panko bread crumbs and make your patties.
The tricky part here is that you need to gauge how dry the mixture gets, so you want to dump the crumbs in carefully, and slow down as you add more. If it gets too dry, your patties will fall apart as you are frying them. This isn't the end of the world, it just makes them more difficult to eat if there are lots of little pieces instead of one big one, so keep that in mind.
Speaking of frying, you also have a decision to make on that front. The patties can be pan (shallow) fried on the stove or in a skillet, or you can deep fry them. Entirely up to you. Whichever you choose, now is probably the time to get that pan ready.
Once you have the patties, and your oil is ready, you know what to do - a couple of minutes on each side (if pan frying) should take care of it. That will give you a nice golden brown. everything is already cooked inside, so even if they are a little light, you'll be okay, and you're ready to eat just as soon as you like the look.
- Cut cauliflower into florets and cook in boiling water with onion and bell pepper until tender
- Drain water from vegetables and mash while still warm
- Stir in cheese and panko bread crumbs
- Add cayenne pepper and salt to taste
- Form the vegetable mixture into patties
- Use a griddle or skillet to pan fry patties until golden brown
If you want to be adventurous, you may even want to serve them with a sauce. I personally think they go really well with a sweet chili sauce, but I like sweet chili sauce on just about anything. Let me know how it works out for you!